Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13th 2014

This week has proved to be quite the challenge. We have been trying to find people to teach and they ones we finally found are just starting to progress, I have that feeling that there is a lot more things working against us missionaries and that being said it takes a lot to stay positive. Going from the cruise control life in Salt Lake to everything is your responsibility here is quite the change. Never will I ever take my parents for granted again, and no one should! They do so much for us. 

I suppose that there is no way to ever truly prepare for a mission. The things you see, expirence, feel.. all add up to be something you could never prepare for. Walking through the streets, getting denied and called names, being tired all the time, sweat running into your eyes... Well Eternal Life isnt easy, what Christ went through for us isnt easy. Just like Jeffery R Holland says: 

¨Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 11 then little wonder that salvation is not an easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I testify that the living God is our Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is His living and Only Begotten Son in the flesh. I testify that this Jesus, who was slain and hanged on a tree, 12 lives. The whole triumph of the gospel is that He lives, and because He does, so will we.¨ Jeffery R Holland
What a message right? I truly believe this to be true. When all we are going through, in normal everyday life. Remember Him. Remember what he went through, Do not take anything we have for granted. I have seen first hand here what its like for people to struggle and not have the gospel in their lives, and we have this great blessing and we dont utilze these blessing becasue we are too ´tired¨ to read from 10 minutes? Get Real! And then Get going. 
This week not much has happened. The rain is incredible to say the least. The roads are more rivers and you could get away with running a boat in the road, there is that much water. I learned to drive a motor cylcle, pretty sweet! Im thinking that will be one of the first purchases when I get back! Our new mission presidnet got called and will be hear in July and guess what.... Hes a gringo! I think, I havent seen a picture but his name sounds white haha I beleive his name is Wiliam Riggins. So that wille interesting!
Resoulutions for this year: 1 Be fluent 2 Become Perfect 3 Baptize the World
I love you all and thank you all for the support! 
Elder Strang

New Years! :) 2014

What a week. New Years here is absolutely INSANE. To describe what goes on I will try my best in email, but it doesnt do it justice. 

About 2 weeks before New years everyone and their 19 cats start to make and buy these figures which are in every shape and form. You can buy ironman, superman, mairo, hulk you name it and they have it. On New Years they light these figures on fire with gas and all sorts of flammable things. Along with this they have every fire work that you can possible imagine and yes M80 are the old style M80s, and they can blow your hand off! They also have these ones that were described to me as like dynamite and they rock the city! Everyone buys fireworks and at midnight the city lights up. The air turned red, firsworks all night long and I kid you not you cannot breath haha. Every starts drinking and others start to light up other stuff. The next day we had free cause everyone either goes to the beach or is too hungover to want to listen to us, so we had it free. Walking through the steets the next day looking at the burnt holes and and blown out parts in the road and seeing people wasted outta of their minds was quite the site hahah. There was a group of guys having a conversation about Adam and Eve and they were all sooo gone haha. Anyways quite the party that they have haah :)

Another thing that started this week is the rain, yesterday and we dont know what rain is in Utah. We were walking through the streets and it started to spinkle and little which is normal but then it hit in a instant and we got drenched! We ran through the streets to a memebers house but we probably could have swam! The street in about 5 minutes turned into a 2 foot deep torent that washed out everything! We stayed at the members house cause the rain just got worse and we didnt have umbrellas with us! So when 9 oclock rolled around we were leaving and the rain had slowed down but the street had wahsed out and there were huge rocks just chillen in the middle of the road ha. I guess we could just baptize whenever it rains though right? ;) 

We are stuggling to find new people to teach. We dont have investigators cause we baptized them all ha, so we are looking for new ones. Not easy to do! But we will find them. I was reading in teachings of the profets of the church yes in spanish, I know, I am awesome ;) ha but its Joesph Fieliding Smith and he didnt baptize a single person on his mission, but he left seeds that grew the church into what it is today, and I thought, with this new year, we can do the same. We can plant those little seeds now in this njew year, they will grow into a huge part of our lives. Start with the small things and they will grow into the big things, just Like Alma says in chapter 32 ¨ 28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
 29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
 30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.¨
This new year start to plant that seed and watch it grow! I love you all and know that the Lord does too! 
Thats for all the support and love you all! 
Elder Strang

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